Balihoo, which provides local marketing automation technology to national brands, announced an addition to its platform that allows brands to manage co-op marketing and advertising efforts across their entire systems.

“It allows the national [brands] to essentially place dollars within the system and have the local folks access those dollars and use them,” says Shane Vaughan, vice president of marketing for Balihoo.

“By adding this co-op functionality into the platform, it gives the national organization the ability to have clear visibility to what’s happening at the local level, but most importantly to see the success of those local efforts.”

The Balihoo platform integrates marketing media and allows national brands of various industries the ability to help their affiliates—franchisees—market locally.

Vaughan says that the platform was created out of a need to centralize the many marketing media.

“Integration just wasn’t happening very well, the process was difficult and costly,” he says. “By bringing it all into a central location it makes the flow much, much smoother for both the national and the local parties.”

One of Balihoo’s clients is Quiznos, where Vaughan says Balihoo has helped roll out creative and marketing efforts to franchisees, helping those franchisees customize and implement the material locally.

“Whether that’s menus for in-store or signage, whether that’s direct mail, whether that’s TV or radio advertising, we help them go to market locally and drive demand,” he says.

Pete Gombert, founder and CEO of Balihoo, says that brands often focus too much on national marketing concerns rather than local.

“We think that that’s a mistake that brands make, because there is a huge opportunity in local marketing,” he says. “The difference between doing it right and doing it wrong is massive and can have a massive impact on not only the operational performance of the company, but also in the dollars you’re putting behind creating a brand.

“We’re enabling [brands] to take a lot of the pain out of their operations so that the same level of benefits can be achieved locally as they’re trying to drive nationally.”

Vaughan believes that new quick-serve trends make Balihoo appropriate for brands interested in keeping the message consistent across the system.

“One of the trends that we’ve seen in the [quick-serve] industry in the last couple of years has been specialization at the local level, particularly from a menu item perspective,” he says. “We’ve seen many restaurants rolling out unique menu items regionally, and one of the things that this tool does is allow them to market those menu items specifically within their region but still be on brand and on message with the national parent.”

By Sam Oches